Machine Embroidery Pucker Prevention Tip 10

Machine Embroidery Pucker Prevention Tip 10

We know to pre-shrink our fabric and stabilizer, but this item can also cause problems if it shrinks after embroidery.

Bonnie has told us about the importance of test sews. It is a great way to make sure that your combination of fabric, stabilizer, batting, needle, tension, and threads are all working in unison. That way, you make adjustments before potentially ruining your entire project.

The Problem of Puckering

Puckering is one of the most common machine embroidery problems and often shows up after you take the project out of the hoop and, especially, after ironing.

Bonnie has shared how pre-shrinking your poly mesh and other woven stabilizers makes a big difference for pucker-free embroidery here. We have also discussed eight other tips to prevent project puckering here. I recently read about another item that can cause puckering from shrinkage – interfacing.

I use Shape Flex (SF) 101 interfacing whenever I have a light background fabric or I need to back a base fabric for a bit of extra support. Not as a substitute for stabilizer but in addition to the fabric. Stabilizer supports the embroidery. Interfacing supports the fabric.

Not pre-shrinking SF101 has caused puckering problems after embroidery. SF 101 is 100% cotton so it makes sense that it could, and does, shrink.

How to Pre-Shrink SF 101

Pellon, the manufacturer of SF 101, recommends a 10-minute soak in warm water without detergent, squeezing out excess water, and hanging it to dry. Unlike prewashing fabric, it is not recommended to launder SF 101 as the adhesive will not work properly.

Some users recommend a burst of steam or a hot iron just above the SF 101 before fusing, much like can be done to woven stabilizers.  

Methods of pre-shrinking other interfacings depend upon their manufacturer’s recommendations.

 Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Bonnie Welsh - July 11, 2023

    Angela—You’re most welcome. Debbie does a great job!

  • Bonnie Welsh - July 11, 2023

    Linda—So glad you find the tips helpful and have created a handy reference booklet for yourself. Clever!

  • Linda Minette - July 11, 2023

    I really appreciate it when you make it easy for me to print these…I have a booklet next to my machines and I can look issues easily…I don’t plan on selling them! Thank you…

  • Angela Bartlett - July 11, 2023

    Thanks so much for this article. It gave me a lot of information that I did not know before. :-)

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